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About French Bulldogs

Updated on November 10, 2014
GollyGearHope profile image

Hope Saidel is co-owner of Golly Gear, a bricks-and-mortar and online shop featuring fun, affordable and practical small dog products

Dax, my brindle French Bulldog
Dax, my brindle French Bulldog

Frogdogs can fill your heart

According to the American Kennel Club standard for the French Bulldog: 'Often described as "a clown in the cloak of a philosopher," the French Bulldog originated as, and continues to be used as a companion dog. The breed is small and muscular with heavy bone structure, a smooth coat, a short face and trademark "bat" ears. Prized for their affectionate natures and even dispositions, they are generally active and alert, but not unduly boisterous. Frenchies can be brindle, fawn, white, and brindle and white.

'Lacemakers in 19th Century Nottingham, England selectively bred the early bulldog for a downsized or "toy" bulldog, for use as a lap pet. When the Industrial Revolution displaced some lacemakers to France, they took the dogs with them, and soon the "toy" bulldogs became popular in France, where wealthy Americans doing the Grand Tour saw and fell in love with them. In the late 1800s these "toy bulldogs" became known as French Bulldogs.

'Frenchies are indoor dogs, but require air conditioning in warm weather. While good at alerting their owners to danger (Look! The UPS Guy is coming!), their main role is that of lap warmer. The Frenchie requires minimal exercise and grooming."

French Bulldog Teddy
French Bulldog Teddy

Me and my Frenchies

Beware the perils of popularity

If you've been charmed by the smush-faced Frenchies prevalent in today's media, you may be on the hunt for one of your very own.

Please be careful! As any breed of dog becomes popular, there are unscrupulous people waiting to take advantage. The best way to get a French Bulldog puppy is either through one of the rescue groups specific to Frenchies, or through a reputable breeder. The French Bulldog Club of America has references for every state - take advantage of the resources available.

French Bulldogs can have many health and training issues. They are notorious for snorting, farting, wheezing, and sensitivity to heat and humidity. The breed is considered a "dwarfed" breed, and can also have back and neck issues. In reading descriptions of the Frenchies surrendered to rescue groups, you'll also find numerous mentions of "does not get along with other dogs."

Many of these red-flag-warnings are the results of poorly-bred dogs, products of puppy mills both in the United States and abroad. Be wary of internet dog sellers - almost all are puppy mill outlets, camouflaged by slick packaging. These puppy millers are interested only in making a profit - they don't care about the health of the dogs, or the suitability of the dog for you and your family.

I often hear people say that they resent the "third degree" - all the questions they must answer or extensive applications they must complete to be considered by a reputable breeder. But good breeders never make any money - they want to produce the healthiest, soundest dogs of their breeds and find the best possible homes for them. Frenchies in particular have very small litters and are notoriously fragile puppies.

There's an old joke among breeders:

"Want to make a small fortune breeding Frenchies?"

"Start with a large fortune...."

© 2009 Hope

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